Smelly shoes & 12 hour days in studio: Inside Connell Cruise's Dancing With The Stars win

23 April 2018 - 15:09 By Karishma Thakurdin
Connell Cruise and his dance partner, Marcella Solimeo, are the winners of Dancing With The Stars.
Connell Cruise and his dance partner, Marcella Solimeo, are the winners of Dancing With The Stars.
Image: Supplied

Connell Cruise and his dance partner, Marcella Solimeo, walked away victorious during the finale of dance competition Dancing With The Stars on Sunday night. 

Connell told TshisaLIVE that the adrenalin of winning was still settling in. 

"I'm feeling very good. Marcella and I got really drunk at the afterparty and I asked her if this really happened. I think it is all still settling in." 

Connell and Marcella faced tough competition. They were up against actress Zola Nombona and partner Tebogo Mashilo and soap star and model Eden Classens and his partner Ash-Leigh Hunter in the finale.

The singer said when he was selected to be a part of the competition a few months ago, he did not for a second think he would make it to the finale. 

Connell said that anyone close to him could verify that he had two left feet when he started his Dancing With The Stars journey. 

"I would dance at weddings or at a party. My wife and I would fool around in the lounge, but that was where my experience with dance ended. This journey and Marcella opened my eyes to how beautiful and multi-layered dance is. She was the best partner and dance coach." 

Connell said that even though he's on top of the world over winning he definitely wouldn't miss the gruelling hours in the dance studio. 

"We were told that for the duration of the competition we had raked up 540 hours in the dance studio. We would rehearse for 10-12 hours every day. And although this is going to sound gross, no one ever tells you how those dance shoes smell after 12 hours." 

Connell said he definitely wouldn't miss those smelly shoes and the many bruises on his body. 

When asked if he would do it again, given the chance, Connell said he won't be rushing to the dance studio in a hurry. 

"I have had the time of my life and it's been a wonderful journey that has come to an end in a beautiful way, but I definitely wouldn't do it again." 

Connell said he's looking forward to unwinding and spending time with his loved ones, now that he has time again.  He also thanked fans for the unwavering support.